Tensions flare both within and outside of the legislature.
With Speaker Therese Terlaje issuing criticism on Adelup moving forward with the lease to obtain Eagle’s Field.
The criticism follows a meeting between Governor Lou Leon Guerrero, JRM Commander Rear Admiral Benjamin Nicholson, as well Democratic Senators Will Parkinson, Joe San Agustin, Roy Quinata, and Dwayne San Nicolas.
Speaker Terlaje’s argument on the lease appears to stem from what she says is a lack of transparency.
This clash between the legislative and executive branch of Government – right before the Governor is expected to give her State of the Island Address within the Speakers House at the Guam Congress Building at 6:30pm tonight.
According to the Speaker, it was through the meeting where lawmakers learned that the lease to obtain Eagles Field will be on the Governor’s desk for her signature at 3pm today.
Terlaje’s says that, “without vetting, any Governor can single-handedly choose to enter into leases with the federal government and obligate the people of Guam for generations without their say.”
According to the Speaker, the agreement’s of the lease would obligate GovGuam, “for in-kind hospital services to military personnel and their families in exchange for GovGuam use of 120+ acres of the Eagles Field Land.”
The apparent signing of the lease comes after Bill 12, which was introduced by Terlaje, was passed unanimously by lawmakers last week.
Bill 12 would make it so that prior to the Governor purchasing or leasing land from federal or foreign government, it would require legislative approval.
The Governor, and now the aforementioned Democratic Senators, have now voiced their distaste in the bill.
With the consensuses amongst them being that the bill would hold back the construction of what they say is a much needed hospital.
And according to statements from Parkinson, San Agustin, and San Nicolas, the sum of their votes on passing Bill 12 stemmed from the hope that the original land owners could get their land back.
However, following last night’s meeting, which also included Minority Leader, Republican Senator Frank Blas Jr, they reportedly now know that the land will not return
As Rear Admiral Nicholas reaffirmed what the Governor has mentioned in the past, that the eagles field property will only be leased for the purpose of the hospital campus, otherwise it will be utilized to support a missile defense program.
The Governor, in response to the Speaker says that her “statements are either misleading or simply false on their face,” and describes the Speaker as putting her “animosity toward the US military.”
Further describing Terlaje as an “obstacle instead of a leader.”
Meanwhile, Speaker Terlaje, in response to the Governor’s reaction says, “instead of being forthcoming about the terms of the lease and what the governor is committing future generations to, she deflects to politics and trying to attack my motives.”
And adds that asking questions and demanding transparency is not anti-military.